The new toll gate system in Gauteng will go ahead after the cabinet approved a revised tariff structure. Taxis and buses will be exempt. 	Photo: Dumisani Sibeko
The new toll gate system in Gauteng will go ahead after the cabinet approved a revised tariff structure. Taxis and buses will be exempt. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko

‘Motorists reduced to cash cows’

Time of article published Aug 12, 2011

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Gauteng tolling system reduces motorists to cash cows, civil rights organisation AfriForum said on Friday.

“It is outrageous that the burden to finance the toll roads now lies with ordinary motorists,” CEO Kallie Kriel said in a statement.

“Considering that taxis and buses are completely exempted from toll fees.”

The situation had worsened since motorists would not be able to claim back their toll expenses from taxable income, unlike transport companies and taxis who would be able to, he said.

On Thursday cabinet has approved reduced toll tariffs for the Gauteng freeway improvement project (GFIP) phase A1.

Motorcycles would pay 24 cents a kilometre, light motor vehicles 40 cents, medium vehicles R1, and “longer” vehicles R2, Deputy Transport Minister Jeremy Cronin told reporters after Cabinet's regular Wednesday fortnightly meeting.

Qualifying commuter taxis and buses would be exempted entirely.

In addition to the 31 percent e-tag discount, other discounts applicable would be a time of day discount available to all vehicles, and a frequent user discount for motorcycles and light motor vehicles fitted with an e-tag.

Cabinet had agreed that Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele should give effect to the approval in terms of the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and National Roads Act.

Kriel said tax payers were already over taxed and the toll fees would mean ordinary motorists were taxed fivefold.

“Despite income tax, fuel levies, vehicle licenses, and toll fees which motorists have to pay, they will also be expected to pay VAT on toll fees. If tax was an investment, it would have been a poor investment, since a large group of tax payers enjoy little - if any advantage from their tax money,” he said.

AfriForum will ask its legal team to investigate the possibility of taking legal action against the unfair way ordinary motorists were being discriminated against, Kriel said. – Sapa

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